Friday, June 21, 2013

Uttarakhand floods: Google app ‘Person Finder’ to help search missing people


With approximately1 4,000 people still reportedly missing  and nearly  60,000 waiting to be evacuated from many Uttrakhand regions devastated by floods, internet company Google has launched Person Finder, an application which can provide information and help find people stranded in flood ravaged areas of the Himalayan province.
The Himalayan tsunami has so far claimed 150 lives while the unofficial sources put the figure much higher.

"Since last week, the state of Uttarakhand in India has been grappling with severe floods. Given that most of these areas in the state are highly inaccessible with intermittent communication, Google Crisis team bring you the Person Finder," said Jayanth Mysore, Google APAC Senior Product Manager in a blogpost. The app is available in Hindi and English and could be accessed URL -

According to the blogpost the data entered into the app can be accessed by anyone which can help the media agaencies, NGOs and non-governmental agencies. They can contribute to the database and receive updates by using the Person Finder API based on the PFIF open standard.

Helicopters and personnel from Army, Air Force, NDRF, the Sashastra Sena Bal and Uttarakhand government are carrying out the search, rescue and relief operations.

The army has deployed 8,100 soldiers including medical teams, engineer task forces and signal detachment, according to the Defence Ministry. Ten specialised mountaineering teams of the Army were also pressed into service in the Kedarnath-Soumang area.
The official death toll still stood at 150 but Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said the casualties could run into several hundreds which will be known only when areas become accessible and water recedes.

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